Raft the Gauley River
When they named the Gauley the “Beast of the East,” they weren’t kidding. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you think you’re ready, there is no better whitewater adventure in the world during Gauley Season from September through October. In just 24 miles, you’ll pound through more than 100 rapids in an all-day Gauley Marathon. When you’re done, head to “America’s Coolest Small Town” of Fayetteville for a feast of creative dining options and entertainment.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
The historic town of Harpers Ferry is perhaps best known as the site of John Brown’s famous raid on the arsenal– “the spark that ignited the Civil War.” Today, the charming Jefferson County town, just a short hour drive from Washington D.C., boasts a variety of unique entertainment, from history to outdoor recreation to arts and crafts.
The Capital City of Charleston
West Virginia’s capital city has a rich old-school charm, but a modern scene and small-town feel. Charleston has the history you’d expect from a capital city (Daniel Boone, an American pioneer, once lived here), but a growing arts scene and a spot along the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers makes it a hub for recreation and culture, too.
New River Gorge Bridge
The New River Gorge Bridge, the western hemisphere’s longest steel-arch bridge, forms a stark contrast to the dense, ruffled forests of West Virginia. On a Bridge Walk tour, you can stride along the catwalk (851 feet above the New River!) for the vantagepoint of a lifetime. Bridge Day, held annually the 3rd Saturday in October, is the largest single-day festival event in West Virginia. The festival attracts thousands of spectators who come to watch BASE jumpers parachute off the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge.
Green Bank Telescope
Eastern West Virginia is home to the nation’s largest "quiet zone." The Quiet Zone was enacted to reduce radio wave interference for the Green Bank Telescope. The Green Bank Telescope picks up radio transmissions from outer space, and even the tiniest interference can make it impossible to decipher what those radio waves from space mean. No cell phones and no wi-fi make this part of West Virginia truly unique in the modern world.